3rd May: A Nigerian national, identified as Robert M. Saigba, has claimed ownership of the mysterious crewless ship Tamaya 1 that washed ashore on the Liberian coast according to Agence Africaine de Presse. The ship was purchased in 2015, and has since been operating under H. Matic’s Resources Limited based in Bayelsa State in Nigeria. The reason behind the ship being abandoned by her crew is said to be the sinking of the vessel while the tanker was sailing east of Freetown, Sierra Leone towards Conakry, Guinea. Allegedly, as the crew could not control the water ingress in the engine room, they abandoned ship in one of the lifeboats. A previous inspection by the Liberian Coast Guard determined that the tanker was missing one of its lifeboats, which corresponds to the claims by the co-owner. The inspection also determined that the 1,441 dwt oil tanker had been gutted by fire, leaving the bridge and control centre burned along with all relevant documentation. In addition, the ship’s hatches were opened and contained a mixture of oil and water.
7th May: Following the collision and fire involving the Safmarine Meru, external firefighting was concluded with fire tugs remaining nearby to observe any developments. The fire was brought under control and a team of Chinese authority officials and Maersk Line representatives boarded the ship to survey the damages and gather information needed to make plans for moving the vessel to shore. The vessel was without power and suffered some water ingress, but her condition was stable and was deemed suitable for towing to the Port of Ningbo. At the time of the collision, the 4,650 TEU capacity Safmarine Meru had less than 400 full containers on board. The Safmarine Meru safely arrived alongside at the Meishan container terminal in the Port of Ningbo, China on 13th May. The arrival concluded a towing voyage of 78 nautical miles from the incident site. The day before a firefighting team went onboard to extinguish remaining spots of smoulder, thus effectively putting out the fire on the vessel.
10th May: The 40,165gt container ship COSCO Fukuyama collided with the 150m, 19,098dwt tanker Gao Cheng 2 in the Xiashimen Channel off Ningbo. The bow of the Gao Cheng 2 struck the portside of the COSCO Fukuyama. The 12,320gt/2010 built Gao Cheng 2 sustained bow damage, but was able to proceed to Zhoushan under her own power. The COSCO Fukuyama suffered a hull breach, resulting in water ingress. Some containers were also damaged during the collision when a stack toppled, but there were no reports of injuries or pollution released. The crew of the COSCO Fukuyama was able to control the flooding and the ship proceeded to a nearby anchorage before visiting a shipyard at Zhoushan for repairs.
16th May: The Panamanian flagged bulk carrier New Mykonos, which ran aground on 29th January, south of Faux Cap, southern Madagascar, was reported as having broken in two and sank in 25 metres of water, becoming almost fully submerged. The 81,152gt/1997 built bulker was carrying a full load of 160,000t of coal when she grounded whilst underway from Richards Bay, South Africa to Vizag, India. Smit Salvage was reported to have been contracted for the salvage operation and pumping out of 2,500 tons of fuel, which was completed in March. However, salvage of the wreck was reportedly deemed impossible, leaving the ill-fated bulker stranded for months.
24th May: The Panamanian flagged bulk carrier Sparna was granted approval to leave her mooring at the Kalama, Washington en route to Japan after she suffered severe damage by grounding in the Columbia River on 21st March. The US Coast Guard officials inspected the ship and approved the temporary repairs to make the vessel seaworthy for her voyage across the Pacific Ocean laden with grain. The authorities said that a damage assessment, conducted after the incident, revealed multiple fractures, the largest having a visible boulder lodged inside plus two flooded compartments. The boulder that lodged inside was encased in steel and concrete and is still aboard the vessel.
27th May: A brand new geared bulker on charter to a joint venture controlled by MUR Shipping and Jebsen suffered an embarrassing setback in Australia. The 21,168gt African Alke, owned by Japan’s Doun Kisen, and on long term charter to joint venture JEBMUR, was detained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) after it emerged that crew did not know how to operate the ECDIS on board. The ship’s managers flew an ECDIS trainer in from Singapore to train the crew.
27th May: The 22,041gt/1972 built bulk carrier Roger Blough became grounded on the Gros Cap Reef in Lake Superior with the task of freeing her beginning on 3rd June. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided assistance for lightering operations and ensured that the Birch Point Range channel was safe for navigation after the errant ship was removed from the grounding site on 4th June. The vessel did incur some minor hull breaches causing some water ingress.
31st May: The 1,898gt/2000 built Amadeus Amethist crashed into a road bridge at Jzerlaan along Belgium’s Albert Canal. The general cargo ship lost her accommodation block and all traffic was forced off the bridge. One crewmember was injured and the ship, carrying timber, was ballasted down so as to free her overnight after the incident. The Dutch flagged ship is owned by De Bock Maritiem